Edinburgh: 23-25 August - The Turing Festival

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is creating its usual buzz in and around Edinburgh.

Sitting in the heart of it all is the Turing Festival.  It’s a conference with a difference!

Turing is a non profit festival bringing together digital technology and the web in a celebration of digital culture and creativity. Named in honour of Alan Turing, the festival moves beyond traditional tech conferences to explore the ways in which technology is affecting all aspects of culture and society.  The festival is collaboration between the Interreg IVB NWE funded Open Innovation Project, The City of Edinburgh Council and Interactive Scotland.

This Festival is held in honour of Alan Turing and in this centenary year, the theme is Digital Everywhere. Turing’s pioneering work helped end WWII faster and ushered in the modern computing age.

Digital technology and the web affect all areas of life from science to art and culture. What better location to celebrate digital technology and the life of Alan Turing than at the world’s largest arts and cultural festival, The Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe.

The conference is designed with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in mind - the sessions are either free or sensibly priced.  They’re also timed such that you can attend a Turing Festival debate or presentation, then follow it up with a trip to a gig at the Edinburgh Festival.  All of the Turing Festival venues are in the centre of town - most are at the Appleton Tower, which is close to Bristo Square where there is a huge range of Edinburgh Festival Fringe events taking place!

Let’s look at the Turing Festival events that you can attend for free:

Thursday, August 23, 2012
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Appleton Tower - Start-up Pitch Clinic @Turing  All too often, tech entrepreneurs get out-dated advice on “how to pitch”, “what investors need” etc. Turing’s Start-up Pitch Clinic will provide hands on lessons from someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

2:00PM, Appleton Tower -  Big Data Scotland Event at the Turing Festival!  This event is aimed at all Big Data enthusiasts!  There will be speakers from AWS and Cloudreach, as well as a chance to chat to other enthusiasts about all things Big Data.

Friday, August 24, 2012
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Appleton Tower - Future Media: UCL and the BBC @ Turing  Bill Thompson (BBC), Timothy Barnes (UCL)   will introduce new resources that will be on offer to tech, media and digital companies to help them access public data such as BBC content and UCL research. With the help of small businesses that have piloted these services, the panel will explore and discuss what SMEs can do to validate new technical and business ideas. The speakers will announce new services and a panel will discuss key topics including open data, near and distant future technical developments and how businesses and public bodies can do more for each other. An essential Turing session for small businesses, geeks, media-types, designers, investors and commentators.

10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Appleton Tower -  The Digital Publishing Landscape  The digital publishing revolution is well under way.  Like in film and music there are winners and losers.  What impact is it having on writers?  What strategies do existing and emerging publishers need to develop and thrive to survive in this new landscape. How do authors and companies monetise their copyright to make a reasonable living and sustain a business?

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Appleton Tower -  Debate: How can lean principles be applied to the role of Product Management in enterprise class software development?   Join David Farquhar and Mike Kennedy from Northface Ventures who will host this open debate at the Turing Festival.  How do you apply lean principles when you are a Product Manager responsible for mission-critical, enterprise class, big ticket software products for sales to large, conservative B2B customers, e.g. a bank, telco, big pharma or government?

Saturday, August 25, 2012
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Informatics Forum -  Discovery Mission @ Turing Festival   There’s a problem with learning from customers – they’re no good at telling you what they need. They give you whimsical features lists, tell you they’ll use it and then don’t, and basically send you on a wild goose chase – unless you know how to make those conversations useful.  Leancamp and Design Jam are teaming up give you a full-day, hands-on workshop in Customer Development where you’ll: learn how to talk to customers to get actionable information, learn how to ask questions to get answers based on fact, overcome your fear of reaching out and talking to customers. And you’ll get to work with designers and researchers from BBC R&D, with access to exclusive BBC goodies normally reserved for people in labcoats or business suits.

Whilst it’s not a free event, the Steve Wozniak Turing, Edinburgh Playhouse gig on Thursday 23 August at 4:00PM, is unique insomuch as it’s Steve Wozniak - he’s bound to entertain and enlighten!  Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Inc. is delivering his first keynote speech in Scotland at the Edinburgh Playhouse on Thursday 23 August as part of The Turing Festival and celebrate the life of the founding father of technology, Alan Turing. Wozniak will talk about his life at Apple, entrepreneurship, his autobiography iWoz and the future of computing and the web. Tickets are £21-£36, which probably related to the PLayhouse seating arrangements. There’s also a VIP Dinner in Honour of Steve Wozniak!

Ticket prices start at £10, many are just £15 - you can pick and choose the events you wish to attend. Big names are there: CERN, National Geographic, the BBC. There are talks/presentations on topics such as education and the web, future medicine, security & freedom, National Geographic: Citizen Science, Billion Dollar Babies, Interactive Scotland @ Turing Connected World Conference, Aligning Interests: Entrepreneurs & Investors, Gaming Futures, National Geographic: Technology in Exploration and CERN: Big Questions, Big Science, Big Technology. There’s a great mix of material, something for everybody. Remember, the Turing Festival, like us, is not for profit - the cost of the tickets is there to cover room hire, equipment hire, speaker expenses (where necessary) amongst many other behind the scenes costs!

A whole host of geeks will be in attendance; we know for a fact that the co-founders of Windows Phone Geek will be there - and they’re looking to talk to anybody who is developing apps for Windows Phone devices! Let us know via a tweet (@scottishdevs) or via e-mail ([email protected]) if you’d like to hook up with them!

More information can be found here:


One Response to Edinburgh: 23-25 August - The Turing Festival

  1. Pingback: 061 - Edinburgh’s Turing Festival with Hilary Singer-Roberts and Gordon Guthrie

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